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Full text of "Verdict On India"

120                                    VEEDICT ON IXDIA
cauldron of Indian colour and to transfer it to their canvases. For
instance, I would like to see a young modern paint a religious
procession, without even considering whether it was Hindu or
Muslim or Sikh or whatever it might be, but simply seeing it as
though it were a ballet, a feast of colour, the pink and gold of the
idol, and the purple flowers that are scattered before it, the streaks
of vermilion that are smeared on the foreheads of the worshippers,
and all the kaleidoscopic colours of the crowds that throng the
streets. I want to see somebody paint the monsoon, in all it«
incredible drama, when the sky is like a giant curtain in a theatre,
just as the lights are sinking and the play is about to begin. Above
all, I want to see the young Indian artist paint the tragedy of
India, because it is only when a nation's tragedy is transfigured by
the means of art that it is seen ux its proper proportions, that it
cease* to be merely a source of bitterness and frustration, and be-
comes an inspiration, a driving force towards better things. To
take an extreme example, the recent famine in Bengal was most
emphatically a subject which should have inspired the young
artists of India—it was a subject worthy of a Hogarth or a Goya—
it oifered them an opportunity to create works which would have
-aroused the world's pity and the world's shame. I do not say that
in any spirit of callousness, because I myself spent many days
among those forsaken people, and no man with half a heart could
speak lightly of such an experience. It is not from any idle
desire to make copy out of the misfortunes of others that I make
this suggestion, nor most certainly, because I believe in art for
art's sake. I do not. I believe in art for life's sake, art for India's
sake, and it is for the sake of India that I entreat the artists to
come down from their ivory towers, to step out irtfo the open,
into the arena of modern life. They can do it. They have done
it. And always, when they have done it, it has been tremendously
worth while.
* Up till now I have been speaking to you, largely, of a record of
depressing failure. Let me reverse the pictures, for a change, and
give you an example of resounding success. One of the most
beautiful and important modern buildings that I have ever seen,
not only in India, but in any part of the world, is the Osmania
University at Hyderabad. As an example of the genius of the